Combining the aspects of grace, great speed, and endurance coupled with strength, the Saluki is masterful hunters with keen eyesight. As one of the oldest breed in the world, Saluki was the hunting hound of kings for thousands of years. Though they are reserved rather than demonstrative in their affections, Salukis are loving and devoted to their family members.
|Other Names||Tazis, Persian Greyhounds|
|Color||Black, White, Cream, Chocolate, Golden, Red, Fawn, Red, Grizzle/Tan, Black/Tan, and Tri-color (White, Black and Tan)|
|Height||Males: 23-27 inches. Females: 23-24 inches.|
|Weight||Males: 45-65 pounds. Females: 35-45 pounds.|
|Life Span||10-17 years|
|Personality||Gentle, Dignified, Independent-Minded|
|Exercise||Needs Lots of Activity|
|Groom Needs||Occasional Bath/Brush|
|Kids Friendly||Yes with supervision|
|Dog Friendly||Yes with supervision|
|Litter Size||4 to 8 puppies|
Their symmetrical and leggy appearance gives the impression of an animal cut out for athletic stunts. True to this, the Saluki breed has pulled off its own share of remarkable stunts in hunting prowess, even from prehistoric times as they are one of the oldest dog breeds to ever exist. Saluki was bred to hunt gazelles in sand dunes and rocky mountains, their elegance and grace permit agility, speed, and yet endurance. They come in smooth and feathery coat varieties. Coat colors include cream, red, fawn, white, bi-color (black and tan or grizzle and tan), and tri-color varieties of white, black, and tan. Modern-day Saluki dogs are bred as great pets and endearing companions to the family, although owning them comes with few challenges.
A standard Saluki appears tall and slim, standing up to 24-28 inches tall, measured at the shoulder, and likely to tip the weighing scales towards 45-65 pounds. The females run smaller. The Saluki is a proud member of the Hound Group and has an average lifespan of 11-17 years.
Living with Saluki
Salukis are very clean dogs and known for not having a “doggy” odor. Salukis have two types of coats—feathered and smooth—and both are easily groomed with weekly brushing, although if they have long ear or tail feathering, that may take a bit more attention.
Get your Saluki puppy used to grooming from an early age so that he learns to accept it. Make grooming a positive experience filled with praise and rewards, and you’ll lay the groundwork for easy veterinary exams and other handling when he’s an adult.
Bathing need only be done if they get dirty or before a dog show. Comb feathering once or twice a week to remove tangles.
Trim his nails once or twice a month, as needed. Short nails keep the feet in good condition and won’t scratch your legs when your Saluki jumps up to greet you. Handle his paws frequently — dogs are touchy about their feet.
Keep the ears clean and dry. Check them weekly for redness or a bad odor that might indicate infection. If the ears look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball moistened with a mild pH-balanced cleanser recommended by your veterinarian.
Brush your Saluki’s teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the accompanying bacteria. Daily brushing will be better.
A healthy Saluki requires about an hour of daily exercise in the form of long walks, runs, and dog sports.
With their long legs and need to run, Salukis are not well suited to apartment living. These dogs also like to be able to roam around a back garden as often as possible so they can really let off steam.
Like other dogs, Salukis can be escape artists or destructive chewers when bored or unhappy at home, so good fencing and safe toys and chew-bones are a must.
Salukis benefit from having a medium or large enclosed yard they can run around in. The ideal running area for a Saluki is 300 to 400 feet in length or width.
With a strong drive to hunt and prey, you should keep your Saluki on leash whenever he’s not in an enclosed area. If he sees anything fast and furry, he’ll pursuit it for as long as he can, disregarding any commands to come or stop.
They enjoy getting their exercise outdoors year round, but in winter they may need a dog coat for warmth because of their short, smooth coat and low body fat.
Saluki puppies should never be over exercised because their joints and bones are still growing. So you should not allow a dog jumping up and down from furniture or going up or down the stairs. Too much pressure placed on their joints and spines at an early age could lead to a dog developing problems later in their lives.
It is essential that the Saluki be fed a high-quality diet of dry food, and quite a few Saluki enthusiasts free feed their dogs, which also means that they leave dry kibble available for the dog all day.
The quality of dog food you buy also makes a difference — the better the dog food, the further it will go toward nourishing your dog.
Saluki appetites can range from the skimpy to the gluttonous. Dogs with the latter will often eat other dogs’ food as well as their own, so they may have to be separated at mealtimes to prevent it from becoming overweight.
Free feeding should not be a problem, which can also help to prevent bloat, a problem in the breed. So few Salukis will overeat or become overweight.
You should feed your pups according to the feeding schedule and it’s important to stick to the same routine, which can help avoid any tummy upsets.
How much your adult dog eats depends on his size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. It’s best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it’s good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements.
Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.
Salukis are generally healthy, but just like all breeds, sometimes they may suffer from some health conditions, such as Heart conditions(including valve disease, arrhythmia, and enlarged hearts), Hypothyroidism, Hemangiosarcoma(a form of canine cancer) and Adverse reactions to anesthesia, etc.
Vigorous running and playing after eating can cause bloat, or gastric torsion (which is a life-threatening emergency and needs immediate intervention). Generally, however, Salukis enjoy a healthy, active life from birth to old age.
Some health problems don’t appear until a dog reaches full maturity. Not all Salukis will get any or all of these diseases, but it’s important to be aware of them if you’re considering this breed.
The teeth should be brushed often, using a toothpaste designed for dogs.
There are several health tests considerations specific to the breed, such as cardiac exam and thyroid evaluation.
Responsible breeders test all breeding stock for conditions that can affect the breed. Regular visits to the vet for checkups and parasite control help to ensure the dog a long, healthy life.
Total Annual Cost: $3239
Cost is estimated for the first year and may vary depending on many factors, such as dog food, health care, leash, collar, licensing, possible fencing, crates, training and obedience classes, dog-walking, grooming, treats, toys, flea, tick, and heart-worm meds, microchips, etc.
The Saluki will benefit from regular training. Salukis are intelligent and learn quickly, but they’re also independent and can be stubborn, which makes training a challenge. Salukis are natural sighthounds, but not natural gun dogs.
It’s helpful to get your Saluki off the couch with advanced obedience and agility training, and dog sports. They are particularly skilled at lure coursing, a sport in which they race at top speeds after a lure.
Once a fuzzy bunny or quick moving squirrel passes by, the Saluki will not be able to resist chasing it down. This doesn’t mean the dog is stupid; it simply has an inherent drive to chase down prey.
Salukis also won’t pay attention to traffic when chasing their prey. The leading cause of death for this breed is not old age or illness; it is being hit by cars. It is wise to have all training sessions in an area free from distractions.
To hold your Saluki’s attention, keep training sessions short, fun, and interesting. If a Saluki becomes bored, he will choose not to learn.
Basic obedience training will help the dog learn manners in the home and community. Well-behaved dogs are welcome almost everywhere.
Crate training is recommended for those times when the dog needs to be safely confined in the home or while traveling.
Salukis are easy to train, but highly sensitive to harsh treatment. So use positive reinforcement, never harsh verbal or physical corrections.
The Saluki is an ancient dog breed with a history that cuts across several continents. The ancestors of this breed are believed to have developed in the Fertile Crescent, the so-called home of agricultural civilization. The origin dates back to many centuries, judging by arts, paintings, potteries, and several isolated pieces of evidence that suggest the antique ancestry of this eccentric breed. Pottery designs that bore images of long and narrow-trunked dogs had been found in parts of Iran some 6000 years ago. These are believed to be the early Saluki dogs. Other such depictions exist in Syria, Egypt, and parts of the Middle East. However, it wasn’t until the period of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt that the Saluki breed rose to prominence, even overshadowing the tesem dogs of ancient Egypt.
The tortuous ride of the Saluki breed on its way to recognition in Europe began in the 1840s when they arrived in England under the name “slughi shami”, often interbred with the Sloughi breed, until rather recently that genetic evidence suggested they were actually separate genes. In 1895, the breeding line of the Saluki was laid down by Florence Amherst, the daughter of the 1st Baron Amherst of Hackney. It was a dog she had chanced upon on her tour around the Nile. Although she grappled tenaciously with the possibilities of bringing this breed of dogs to popularity in Europe, her efforts yielded little results until she was helped by Brigadier General Frederick Lance and his wife, who had just returned from Palestine with a similar dog. Together, they pushed for the recognition of the Saluki breed and, in 1923, the Saluki or Gazelle Hound Club was established. This club gained recognition by the Kennel Club. In subsequent years, the breed continued to grow in prominence and spreading into different parts of the world. It is now a well-recognized breed in America.